Anime fans are waiting with a mix of excitement and dread for the release of Alita: Battle Angel this week - and so far, the film looks to be off to solid start at the box office!
As reported by Deadline, Alita has made $32 million in eleven overseas markets. The film is said to currently be outpacing movies like The Maze Runner and Ready Player One in market-to-market comparisons. It's a promising start for 20th Century Fox, which will be opening the manga adaptation in the US this week, and over in China on Feburary 22nd.
Alita: Battle Angel came in at No. 2 in Korea ($10.9M), where it is said to have beat out some major competition for the 2nd place finish. Taiwan saw the film finish at No. 1 ($4.8M), which was Fox's fourth biggest opening in the country. The UK netted a $4.2M box office return, with 42% of that made in 3D ticket sales. Finally, Malaysia brought in $2.9M, making it Fox's 2nd biggest opening in that region.
While Alita is off to a strong start in the Asian markets, it still has a major uphill climb toward reaching the finish line of profitability. The CGI-heavy 3D film is reported to have a budget approaching $170M, which is a blockbuster movie price, for what could easily be an adaptation that only has niche appeal for the manga/anime crowds. Still, the marketing for Alita has been heavy here in the US, with commercials touting the sort of general action moments and name recognition ("James Cameron," "Avatar," "Robert Rodriguez") that could definitely help the movie reach beyond its core demographic. That's far from a guarantee, but since there is enough "event movie" spectacle built into Alita, it's definitely possible.
Like with many critics, our official Comicbook.com review of Alita: Battle Angel was pretty split over the movie's merits and faults:
"All things considered, the movie is an immersive escape to another world. Attempts at emotion and human connections are supplemented by amazing visual and practical effects, along with well-crafted action sequences. It's not going to be the next Avatar despite being an equally massive idea, but Alita builds its own world for a second adventure which could get audiences more invested.
Rating: 3 out of 5"
Alita: Battle Angel is scheduled to release in theaters on February 14th.